1. #1
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    Default *Rotary Vent Saws*

    My dept is looking to buy two new rotary saws and I am looking to see what everybody else is using. Currently on our tower ladder we have a 14'' Partner 950 w/ a 12 tooth carbide tip blade. The saw that we are replacing is a 12'' Sthil saw w/ an abrasive metal blade on it.

    I would like to get the same saw to keep it simple for the guys. As it is known the saws have different arbor sizes. I know there are spacers out there to use for the blades on other saws, but in the middle of the night on a roof, I figuerd we would loose them, then the saw is useless.

    I am prefeering to stay with the Partner 950 or maybe go with the 1250. We have had no trouble with our 950's and would like to stay with them, but I am looking for info on the 1250's. Does anybody use the Partner 1250? If so what do you think of it? I have researched it a bit and see it is about 6 lbs heavier than the 950. Other than that it seems to be the same saw. Is the extra power noticable? Or is it to much?

    Any info would be grewtly appreciated.
    Thank You

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    We just bought our first Partner saw. Its a 1250 with a 12 tooth blade.

    Our guys couldn't be happier. It replaced an old Stihl saw.

    It may be a little heavier than a 950, but it is about 15 lbs lighter and has way more power than the Stihl it replaced.

    We have plans to buy another one this year.

    But you know small fire departments, the Stihl is still in service. It was just moved to an engine where it will be used less often. That engine's Stihl saw that was a little older, was moved to another engine that had an even older saw. That saw was moved to the reserve engine replacing the 40 year old Homelite belt-driven 12" saw.

    We had a mock going away party in celebration of the final departure of that old Homelite.

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    since you brought up the stihl was it a good saw?

    Also to everyone are their specifications that need to be met for a saw to be considered FD rated? Could we go to a stihl dealer and get a saw that would work for fire ground operations or would it need to be purchased through a dealer?

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    We just recently purchased a new Husqvarna 375K with the 14" blade. It's not quite got the power of the Partner 1250 (5.0hp to 7.8hp) but it's about 9 pounds lighter and costs much less (I believe about half as much but I'd have to check). It's more than enough saw for our uses and tight budget.
    Last edited by kprsn1; 07-05-2007 at 02:11 PM. Reason: not sure of price
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    I could write an entire page on this, but I'll keep it simple. It really depends on what you want the saw for. My personal preferrence is Partner, which is now part of Husqvarna. Husky replaced their line of rotary saws with the Partner models which are now orange. You'll still find some yellow ones left over. Same model numbers...same reliable saws. The 650's were great for forcible entry saws. They are light and have plenty of power for that and even light vent work. They are much easier to use in akward positions and horizontal or overhead. They have been replaced by the 750's. The 950 or K12FD is my tool of choice for vent work, especially on built up flat roofs. It's powerful and well balanced (little gyroscopic effect). In my opinion the 1250 is a great USAR saw but is a little too much saw for daily fireground ops. The biggest factor in saw ops is the blade. The Warthog is a very good blade, but is very expensive. I prefer FireHooks Unlimited's Chopper blades, 12 tooth model. Wide kerf, and aggressive design make it an excellent blade for vent work. They are also very cheap in cost...$50. So you don't feel bad when you tear one up. My old department's policy was to replace the blade after every use on the fireground. We kept the used blades for training. I would also reccommend having two saws: one set up with a aluminum-oxide blade for metal cutting and the other with a carbide tipped ventilation blade. Also the K12FD (K950) has several accessories that are very useful. You really can't go wrong having several 950's...same saw operation, same parts, etc. which can reduce a lot of headaches.

    check out the article below:
    http://www.fireengineering.com/displ...s:-Power-Saws?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Firefighter2230 View Post
    since you brought up the stihl was it a good saw?

    Also to everyone are their specifications that need to be met for a saw to be considered FD rated? Could we go to a stihl dealer and get a saw that would work for fire ground operations or would it need to be purchased through a dealer?
    I seem to remembr reading "firefighting is an ultra-hazardous occupation" and while Stihl dealers will "support FD's and their use of Stihl equipment any Stihl equipment used in firefighting is void of warranty".

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    Quote Originally Posted by Geinandputitout View Post
    I seem to remembr reading "firefighting is an ultra-hazardous occupation" and while Stihl dealers will "support FD's and their use of Stihl equipment any Stihl equipment used in firefighting is void of warranty".
    Not sure about that.

    I know Virginia Beach exclusively uses Stihl products. Both chainsaws and rotary saws. Stihl is the major sponsor of the Beach's Combat Challenge team, and their main headquarters is right off International Pkwy.

    Mind you this is in no way shape or form an endorsement of Stihl products. I much prefer the feel and sound of the Partner saw
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    We have a Stihl here..................it replaced a Johnny & Roy era K12 saw ....seems to be ok here. Are the new Partner saws (K12's) that markedly improved ? I know our old one was POS.
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    We have a new (last year) Stihl TS700. 98.5cc, 6.7hp, 25lbs. Our intended use is vent and general rescue.

    http://www.stihlusa.com/construction/TS700.html

    The main reason we went with the Stihl was a local service man. Partner authroized service is 3hrs away, and Husky is 2 hours away. Stihl does warranty it's products for FF'ing (we asked for confirmation before hand), so that is not an issue.

    We have only used it for training, but we like it. It will take a 14 inch blade, and we use a 12" Warthog for vent, and the 14" D'ax Carbide stays on for general use. We have the usual dedicated concrete and steel discs in the kit as well.

    They actually make a model of Fire rescue chainsaw now too, which we also purchased, with a depth gauge and custom grip.

    http://www.stihlusa.com/chainsaws/MS460Rescue.html



    The only items on the partner that I found more appealing were the harness options, and the external first stage air filter. We made our own harness for the circ saw out of two Stihl shoulder slings, and they use a 3-stage filter too, so it was a minor difference.
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    37Truck, You wrote exactly what I would have. I agree 100%.

    Weruj1, The Partners are nothing like the old ones. We did the exact same as you. Replace our old K12 with a Stihl a few years ago. Then we decided we wanted another rotary saw, did some research and bought a new Partner K12FD. Hands down it will run the Stihl into the ground. It is lighter has more power adn is more FD friendly.

    When we bought the Stihl is when we bought the Warthog blade. Where the blade is so thick it is tricky to get it on the saw properly, because the 2 little tabs that stick down from the washer are just barley and I mean barley long enough to engage. Also with the Stihl we have to use the arbor adapter.

    When we bought the Partner we also bought the 12 tooth chopper blade. It is now our blade of choice. It is cheaper and thinner than the Warthog, which in turn means it take less power to operate and creates less of a gyroscopic effect.
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    I've played with all 3 of the saws mentioned (Sthil, Partner, and Husqvarna) No complaints on either saw. I really cant tell you which saw I like the best. I will say off subject I prefer a Husky chain saw though.

    For those of you interested in a Husqvarna, your local dealer can give you a price that is set from Husky for fire departments. It's a rather good deal. (and no I don't work for them)

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    Moving this off topic a bit (sorry) - but how many of you folks are running diamond blades where you can cut basically anything? The appeal of having a blade in the saw that will cut a wide variety of stuff intrigues me, and a local tool supplier has them fairly reasonably priced.

    Any thoughts? I've witnessed a pretty impressive demo that he did at a local show, from a distance it looked to work well.
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    The last batch of rotary saws we bought were the K-12. Nice piece of equipment. We still have some older Stihl's on the reserve rigs.

    Now, that being said, we use chain saws for roof venting (the few times we do vent a roof). Used to use the rotary saws but after we tried out another local FD's chain saw during a drill we switched. Just find them to be faster and much easier to use.
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    37truck or anyone else that can answer. My understanding is that you could use that warthog blade on wood (ie the roof) or light weight metal (ie garage doors and metal roof decking) is this true and if so then could you also use that chopper blade on the same? They appeared to pretty much look alike, except for the hugh price difference.

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    I don't want to hijack this thread, but until joining my current department, I rarely saw a chain saw being used for ventilation. K-12 or partner saw was almost always the ventilation saw. I watched in amazement as one of our officers tried to vent a hot mopped apartment roof with a chainsaw--it was futile. Are there certain situations in which a chainsaw is preferred?

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    Quote Originally Posted by JD1234 View Post
    I don't want to hijack this thread, but until joining my current department, I rarely saw a chain saw being used for ventilation. K-12 or partner saw was almost always the ventilation saw. I watched in amazement as one of our officers tried to vent a hot mopped apartment roof with a chainsaw--it was futile. Are there certain situations in which a chainsaw is preferred?
    I dont know about elsewhere ...............but 'round here only on plain ol' shingled roofs.
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    Quote Originally Posted by npfd801 View Post
    Moving this off topic a bit (sorry) - but how many of you folks are running diamond blades where you can cut basically anything? The appeal of having a blade in the saw that will cut a wide variety of stuff intrigues me, and a local tool supplier has them fairly reasonably priced.

    Any thoughts? I've witnessed a pretty impressive demo that he did at a local show, from a distance it looked to work well.

    We have one of these on as our general use blade:

    http://www.wfrfire.com/website/front.../dax.htm&front

    We have not pushed it very hard yet, but in training it is nice. Cuts everything relatively well.

    It is not as fast as the warthog through a roof, nor as good through concrete and steel as the dedicated abrasive blades, but it does each job well enough to justify it's expense.

    I personally like the fact that you can just switch directions to get a "fresh" blade.
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    Quote Originally Posted by npfd801 View Post
    Moving this off topic a bit (sorry) - but how many of you folks are running diamond blades where you can cut basically anything? The appeal of having a blade in the saw that will cut a wide variety of stuff intrigues me, and a local tool supplier has them fairly reasonably priced.

    Any thoughts? I've witnessed a pretty impressive demo that he did at a local show, from a distance it looked to work well.
    This is my opinon based on the experience I have had in training with these types of blades. "Jack-of-all-trades, master-of-none" applies very well to multi-purpose blades. I believe you are better off matching the blade to the material/operation. The multi-purpose blades cut slower and I believe time is a critical factor on the fireground. You are further ahead to have two saws set up for different operations than to have one "do it all" saw.
    Last edited by 37truck; 07-08-2007 at 12:03 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GFDLT1 View Post
    37truck or anyone else that can answer. My understanding is that you could use that warthog blade on wood (ie the roof) or light weight metal (ie garage doors and metal roof decking) is this true and if so then could you also use that chopper blade on the same? They appeared to pretty much look alike, except for the hugh price difference.
    We use the 12 tooth Chopper blade to cut light weight steel siding and roofs like that found on industrial type buildings, the light roll-up doors found on the self-storage buildings and standing seam roofing on PD's with great success. It saves a lot of time especially when there is wood underneath the sheet metal. Understand that the blade will probaly be junk when your finished, but you will get a lot of use out of it during the operation. My truck once cut 83 roll-up doors on a self storage building without changing the blade. It makes a tremendous amount of noise but cuts extremely fast...faster than any abrasive disc will (plus you don't need to constantly change it.) I learned this trick when I was buffing on 44 Truck in the South Bronx. Another little nugget...make sure you have on all of your PPE and good face/eye protection. The teeth can break off and hit you or someone around you.
    Last edited by 37truck; 07-08-2007 at 12:02 PM.

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    Of all things, we at least have a good set up with saws on our truck....
    K950 w/ Warthog blade, Old K12 w/ a masonry blade, Stihl TS400 w/ steel blade, Cutters Edge, and a Stihl chainsaw. I used a Cutters Edge once on a roof, just once. Maybe I was just having a bad day, but as soon as I dropped the bar in, all of the smoke pumping out of the kerf just choked the saw out. It may have been a fluke, but ever since I have only used the chainsaws for cutting obstacles to get the truck in position. The Warthog blade is fantastic! It cuts like a hot knife through butter. The majority of the roofs we cut are on garden apts, and I havent had any problems. My opinion, the new Partner saws combined with the Warthog blade are a great tool.

    The Stihl TS400 is nice for cutting bars off windows. Its a smaller saw, and much easier to handle when operating above your waist. I don't know how well it works on roofs (not sure if the smaller saw has enough power).

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    Default Rotary Saws

    Has anyone noticed more of the giro effect with the 1250 partner saw? We have that saw and I agree it has more power but the giro effect when the RPM's are up the giro gets almost unbearable.

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    Default Partner

    My department just bought our 2nd Partner 950 - replacing a Homelite that is older than I am...... We went with another Partner because the guys were happy with it and now we have 2 of the same saws.

    I have had experiance with the Stihl and found them to be good saws as well - my only complaint with the Stihls was that the torque would try to pull the saw out of your hands.

    I would buy either.

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    37truck,

    If you dont mind, shoot me an email: staylow@comcast.net. Thanks
    The good thing about this job is that we have done so much, with so little, for so long that we can do everything with nothing...... which is what is wrong with this job.
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    37truck, shoot me an email as well if you don't mind at flamefyter23@netzero.net.

    I would like some more info on the chopper blade. On a side note, I believe I met you and shared a few beers last year in Charlotte.

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    Post Question??................

    In the First Post, here, a point was made about spacers for off size blades. The thing that I didn't get was about losing a spacer or nut when changing blades on the roof at night. We seldom need to change Blades on the Fireground, since we carry enough tools to go to work on whatever is involved when we get there. (Current Power Saw Inventory, of all types, stands at 21) We change Blades (When Needed) AT THE APPARATUS. Factors like Light, Space, Tools, and A SAFE WORKING AREA, drive our people to take time to to do it Right, and Safely. I don't mean to get off track here, but Roof Work is risky enough, without taking more time up there to do other things. As a side note, does everyone start the saw on the ground as a check, then take it up and restart it??.
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